Yuya Fujimoto

How not to fail your startup miserably

September 01, 2020

Invest in relationships and make things public as much as possible.

The relationship opportunities you get when you are building a company is something you never get otherwise. You meet all kinds of different people, such as people who have an interest in your idea or similar space, potential cofounders, experts in a particular domain, or any other people who are willing to help you.

If the stage you are in is earlier, it’s potentially more valuable. Because the people on the other side tend to have low expectations from the opportunity and simply enjoy the serendipity from the meeting. That means you have a chance to meet wide range of people.

Some people dismiss those opportunities. They meet new people but don’t always follow up or offer help by sacrificing their time. It’s often because the relationship doesn’t seem too relevant to your business at the moment. And it’s quite understandable. You always have something rushing.

But chances are your business is likely to fail. That’s the game you are in. I’m okay if my business didn’t go well. I can try again with a different idea. But I’m not okay going back to square one.

Even if you failed, the relationships you build along the way stand. You can increase the chances of success. And you never know how your life will pan out.

Name anyone who is successful that comes up in your mind right now. The person must have failed before being successful. They got the second chance to become successful for a reason. Maybe not precisely because they nurture the relationship, but they failed in a good way, meaning they didn’t waste the opportunity they had with the previous business. The learnings from the failed attempt are valuable not only for them but also for others. But those things are not very valuable unless they have a network to share the learning anyway.

People love challenges and those who challenge. Don’t dismiss the interest you gain. That is available only when you are the one building business. And lastly, at the end of the day trust is the scarcest resources. Find the people who bring your best qualities and treat them well.

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